Kia sales increase over last year

Kia Motors Corporation announced today its global sales figures for passenger cars (export sales, domestic sales, and sales from overseas plants), recreational vehicles (RVs), and commercial vehicles for July 2009, recording a total of 143,588 units sold. This marks a year-on-year increase of 17.5%.

By region, Kia posted year-on-year sales increases in China (22,367 units sold, a 101.3% year-on-year increase), Korea (34,811 units, a 26.5% year-on-year increase), and North America (34,455 units sold, a 7.8% year-on-year increase).

Cumulatively, through the first seven months of 2009, Kia’s global sales increased by 6.4% year-on-year and reached 892,916 units. The Chinese market experienced the highest gain selling 119,743 units to date representing a 31.8% increase. Korean and general markets showed cumulative year-on-year sales increases of 25.2% (227,335 units sold) and 12.8% (160,587 units sold), respectively.

To date in 2009, Kia’s best selling model in overseas markets has been the C-segment Cerato (known as ‘Spectra’ or ‘Forte’ in some markets) with 152,784 units sold. Kia’s Sportage compact SUV and the B-segment Rio followed closely with 94,216 and 89,388 units sold, respectively. The C-segment cee’d and Picanto complete the top five with 72,111 and 55,165 units sold, respectively.

In terms of vehicle category sold overseas, Kia’s recreational and passenger vehicles achieved year-on-year increases in July of 21.8% (38,811 units) and 11.7% (67,007 units), respectively.

The company also released its first half earnings for 2009. Despite a 5.7% drop in export revenue, total revenue increased by 3.3% to KRW 8.179 trillion (USD 6.05 billion) in 2009 versus KRW 7.914 trillion (USD 7.96 billion) in the first half of 2008. This increase was powered by a strong domestic revenue gain of 23.3% to KRW 3.038 trillion (USD 2.2 billion).

Corporate profitability rose overall in the first half. Operating profit rose 91.5% from KRW 219 billion in 2008 (USD 220 million) to KRW 419 billion (USD 310 million), aided by ongoing efforts by the company to improve its cost structure, a favorable foreign exchange rate, and a revitalization of the domestic auto market. Net profits increased by 627.2% rising from KRW 61 billion (USD 61.4 million) in 2008 to KRW 444 billion (328 million USD).

Kia’s balance sheet also improved, with a KRW 361 billion (USD 280 million) increase in total assets to KRW 15.8 trillion (USD 12.3 billion) and a decrease in corporate debt by KRW 241 billion (USD 187 million) to KRW 9.470 trillion (USD 7.4 billion). Cash balance at the end of June increased by KRW 140 billion to KRW 1.052 trillion (USD 818 million), compared to the end of 2008.

Hyoung-Keun Lee, Senior Executive Vice President and COO of the International Business Division, Kia Motors Corporation, said “Despite a very challenging industry environment, we are pleased to see that Kia continues to post steady growth. Additionally, with the release of our 1st half earnings figures, it is clear that Kia’s financial performance is strong and we look forward to continuous success through 2009.”

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